The Strategist

The Strategist : Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

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For more than thirty years, Brent Scowcroft has played a central role in American foreign policy. Scowcroft helped manage the American departure from Vietnam, helped plan the historic breakthrough to China, urged the first President Bush to repel the invasion of Kuwait, and worked to shape the West's skillful response to the collapse of the Soviet empire. And when US foreign policy has gone awry, Scowcroft has quietly stepped in to repair the damage. His was one of the few respected voices in Washington to publicly warn the second President Bush against rushing to war in Iraq. The Strategist offers the first comprehensive examination of Brent Scowcroft's career. Author Bartholomew Sparrow details Scowcroft's fraught relationships with such powerful figures as Henry Kissinger (the controversial mentor Scowcroft ultimately outgrew), Alexander Haig (his one-time rival for Oval Office influence), and Condoleezza Rice (whose career Scowcroft helped launch,and with whom he publicly broke over Iraq).Through compelling narrative, in-depth research, and shrewd analysis, The Strategist brings colour and focus to the complex and often secretive nature of US foreign policy,an intellectual battlefield on which personalities, ideas, and worldviews clash, dramatically shaping the world in which we live.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 752 pages
  • 154.94 x 238.76 x 63.5mm | 1,020.58g
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • B/W photo insert
  • 1586489631
  • 9781586489632
  • 523,616

Review quote

"The National Security Advisor wears two hats. He (or she) is responsible for overseeing the process of designing and implementing US foreign policy. At the same time, that person is a principal counselor to the president. It is difficult to get one much less both of these tasks right; it is even more difficult to keep them in balance. Brent Scowcroft, blessed with a rare mix of wisdom, political skill, and character, not only did just this for two presidents but he did it better than anyone before or since. This book tells that story, and like all good biographies, tells the story not just of the man but of his times." --Richard N. Haass, president, Council on Foreign Relations "From the fall of Vietnam and the collapse of the Soviet Empire to the rise of China and the advent of the War on Terror, Brent Scowcroft has been a powerful behind-the-scenes force helping to shape American strategy in a complicated, dangerous world. The insights Bartholomew Sparrow provides through the lens of Scowcroft's amazing career will subtly yet significantly alter our views of US foreign policy. Brent will long remain the model for the ideal national security advisor. Sparrow's book deftly makes clear why this is so." --Dr. Robert M. Gates, former US secretary of defense and director of Central Intelligence "...Informative...Just as there are writer's writers, Scowcroft is a foreign policy strategist's foreign policy strategist" --New York Times Sunday Book Review "Mr. Sparrow's book is a top-notch guide to understanding and appreciating its subject's role in American strategy...[The Strategist] is a very useful and informative account of a man who ranks as one of America's most under appreciated foreign-policy practitioners." --Wall Street Journal "For years, [Brent Scowcroft] has served as the capital's most prominent Wise Man, held up by columnists and authors as a font of knowledge and experience on anything concerning America's relations with the world...And yet the real Brent Scowcroft is something more than this thin Wise Man stereotype. A fuller picture emerges from Bartholomew Sparrow's new biography, The Strategist."-Washington Post "Sparrow's exhaustively researched insider's narrative of U. S. foreign and military policy-making is lucid and readable..."--Publisher's Weekly "Bartholomew Sparrow has written a superb biography of Brent Scowcroft, a smart, honorable, and highly capable man who was the National Security Advisor for both Presidents Ford and Bush 41. As this book makes clear, it's a great misfortune that Bush 43 did not employ Scowcroft in that same role, as he saw from the start that invading Iraq would turn the Middle East into a cauldron and seriously damage America's standing around the world."--John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago "Although overshadowed by the more flamboyant figures of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft is considered by many foreign policy professionals as the ideal national security adviser--self-effacing, an honest broker, and highly competent. And now he has a biography that does him justice and brings together his personal life, his multiple roles in the government, and the history he helped to make. Sparrow's fascinating account sheds a great deal of light on the man and his tumultuous times." --Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University "Few people contributed more to the success of American foreign policy during the latter stages of the Cold War than Brent Scowcroft, who has never received full credit--until now. Bartholomew Sparrow has done a remarkable job balancing narrative and analysis in this thoroughly researched account of Scowcroft's life and career. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know why the Cold War ended the way it did." --H. W. Brands, Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and professor of government, University of Texas at Austin "With insight, depth, and feeling, Bartholomew Sparrow captures a great statesman and strategist. Brent Scowcroft was at once brave, tough, thoughtful, and humble, which may be why he was so effective. A must-read for anyone, at any level, who wonders what makes a good leader." --Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff
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About Bartholomew Sparrow

Bartholomew Sparrow is a professor in the department of government at the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches American political development. He has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International centre for Scholars, the Joan Shorenstein centre on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, and has been awarded the Leonard D. White and the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha awards from the American Political Science Association. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.
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Table of contents

Table of Contents Preface, ix -- PART I -- AIR FORCE OFFICER, 1 1. Junction City, 3 2. Surviving Hell on the Hudson, 13 3. Crash Landing, 24 4. Soldier-Scholar, 34 5. Blue Suiter, 48 -- PART II -- THE NIXON AND FORD ADMINISTRATIONS, 1972--1977, 65 6. Military Assistant to the President, 67 7. Kissinger's Deputy, 79 8. White House Under Siege, 98 9. SALT, Detente, and the Intelligence Wars of the Seventies, 112 10. Managing Failure: The Last Days of Vietnam, 131 11. We Mean Business, 156 12. National Security Advisor, 174 13. The Fixer, 189 -- PART III -- THE CARTER AND REAGAN YEARS, 1977--1989, 201 14. Out on the Street, 203 15. The Scowcroft Commission, 220 16. A Watergate-Type Problem, 244 -- PART IV -- THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, 1989--1993, 263 17. Organizing Security, 265 18. The Pause: Preparing for Change, 292 19. Gardening in a Tempest ,314 20. Cold War Relics: Upheaval in Panama, Trouble in Afghanistan, 327 21. Blood on the Stones, 350 22. One Germany, 368 23. On-Ramp, 385 24. War in the Gulf, 410 25. End of Empir, 428 26. China Rising and the International Economy, 463 27. A New World Order--or the Resumption of History?, 479 -- PART V -- CITIZEN-STATESMAN, 491 28. An Independent Voice, 493 29. The Broken Process, 511 30. Elder Statesman, 541 31. The Strategist, 555 Brent Scowcroft: A Timeline, 565 Acknowledgments, 571 Source Notes, 575 Index, 699 Photo insert between pages 262--263
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Rating details

38 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 29% (11)
4 37% (14)
3 32% (12)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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